Tag Archives: blogging

…the hardest city on the planet, with the biggest heart… my home town, Glasgow…

…it was well over fifty years ago, but as with many of the things I’ve seen in my life that simply refuse to be forgotten, the episode on the tram sticks vividly with me… in those days we lived in Docklands Govan, and every now and then, usually on a Saturday, me Ma would take myself and the two younger sisters at that time (the third was born later) across the city to visit her sister, Auntie Nellie, in a place called Maryhill… nowadays, the fancy through-dual-carriageway would eat up all of fifteen minutes, tops, to make that same trip… back then it was an an hour and a half, minimum, with tramcars (plural) the mode of transport…


…we were on the first-leg tram, and it was prob’ly early afternoon… the famille Gallacher sat along the side-on triple seater, downstairs… around mid-city, a man stumbled onto the tram, obviously having had more than his fair share of the ‘electric soup’… pubs opened back then at 11.00 am, so his intake was the result of the best part of a coupla hours hard drinking… Glasgow-style drinking… none of yer swizzly wee cocktails… hard bevy… yeez could smell the guy from ten feet away… his eyes had the recognisable off-the-planet-swivel, as he took in the seating arrangements, trying to decide where he would sit… the lurch of the tram made the decision for him, and he crumpled onto the long seat opposite where we sat… his jacket flapped open, and there for the WURLD to see, tucked into his trouser belt was an axe, the metal head of which rested against his belly…


…now, in some cultures the sight of a drunk carrying a hatchet in his trouser-band may be the cause for some alarm… not in Glasgow back in those days… we giggled, me, all nine years old of me, and my siblings… the drunk promptly fell asleep… succeeding passengers came aboard and alighted and all could see the weapon clearly… everybody smiled… I kid yeez not… the bus conductress eventually came to him and shook his shoulder and asked where he wanted to get off… gave him his ticket and let him go back to sleep, a while later to rouse him again at his stated destination… as he staggered from the tram and begun to weave his way up the road, we were all left wondering whether he was on his way to… or coming from, whatever engagement needed the possession of the hatchet in the first place… guess we’ll never know… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…a voice, a voice… my kingdom for a real live voice…

…gotta ‘fess up right from the start… I am to compoootery communication things as square wheels are to a bicycle… but even my limited capability in manoeuvring through robot instructions online is seldom put to the sword as completely as it was today… picture if yeez will, Master Gallacher attempting to register his receipt of his renewed credit card, and the forlorn tilt at getting it ‘live’… the long-distance (expensive) overseas call to the institution which still risks its credibility by even allowing me to have the plastic money-gobbler gets through after the third try… the tin tones of the Tartaric taskmistress reels off a ‘welcome-to-ZYX-Bank-your-call-may-be-monitored-for-us-all-to-laugh-our-t*ts-off-later-when-we-wind-it-back-in-our-staff-room’


…followed by a rapid-fire selection of numbers, none of which relate directly to this poor old Scots scribbler’s simple need… when yeez get to number ‘9′, yeez have no alternative but to go through the menu again… on the fifth failed go at this, I stab at a number…any bluudy number… Lawd, just give me a clue how to manage this!… I listen for a full minute to the ream of ‘special offerings’ the bank currently has on offer for ‘its valued clients’, and decide ‘25% discount on kebabs in a restaurant in deepest Swindon’ is not really why I’m calling… another round of listening and this time I get through to the mortgage line… how the hell?… no, I’m not on to refinance my country lodge in Venezuela, thank you… can I please! please! please! just  get my new card live?… then… ‘thank you, your call is important to us (I swear I could detect a muffled snigger in that line), our agents are all busy right now, prob’ly until the middle of next year, but hold on, and keep burning up yer telephone bills from wherever ye’re calling us’… then the dreaded click! click! click!’… and the original tinny tremolo kicks in again,’welcome to, etc, etc’


…if emb’dy out there has any use for a smashed-up mobile phone, which seems incapable of surviving being thrown against the nearest wall, just call me, you will be welcome, as you are a valued etc, etc, etc… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…for Authors… Confessions of a Goodreads Giveaway lunatic…

…I’m Scottish… yeez might have noticed… and according to the dastardly false rumours (put about prob’ly by jealous Englishers), we Scots are tighter than a duck’s a*se… we allegedly make Midas and Scrooge look more benevolent than a Grotto-full of Santas… it may come as a shock to some, therefore, that Master Gallacher has recently been on a charity splurge that would put ol’ Carnegie to shame… first came the release of five signed copies each of two of my early Jack Calder crime thriller novels, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, restricted to members of the terrific Bookshop Cafe Group on Facebook, which was gratifyingly supported… these ten books have now been despatched… the second phase is still in progress… double the quantity of the aforementioned signed masterpieces is up for grabs in a free giveaway on an open-to-all-and-sundry offer on Facebook… mosey on over and have a look at my page there if yeez want to enter for that draw… the third and final element was launched today… FINALLY!, Mabel, FINALLY!, having figured out how the Goodreads Giveaway Programs actually WURK, (with my WURLD-famous compoooter ineptitude at play, it has only taken me about seven years to suss it out) a cool further 20 of the signed tomes are available to any and all who care to click on the pages there  provided yeez enter the draw and get yer names selected by the Goodreads people, of course… here they are :


Cover for Violin Man




VWB cover


…now before yeez all go rushing off to telephone the men in white coats to came and cart me away for such open-handed lunacy, let me explain the method in my apparent madness… I have long since ceased to throw away my books for NUTHIN… but as a businessman, in pursuit of my ‘business of writing’, I’m not averse to ‘investing’ in exercises where I can see the potential returns clearly… example… above I showed you the stage one in all of this was ten freebies to the membership of just one Facebook group… since then, the Great God Amazon back list is attracting downloads again, so much so, that in the Amazon.com lists, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY reached #199 in its genre, and this after being first listed  there over 7 years ago… the next two phases described above are part of my campaign to get the focus back where it  belongs… on my wee literary babies… the response so far is highly positive…I shall keep yeez posted… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Written Acts of Kindness Awards… Kirt D. Disdale…


kindness…among the legions of connections we all can be allied with on the Web, there are many who constantly support others by kind words of support, ‘likes’ of blog posts, and ReTweets of messages… the sort of  ‘always-being-there-for-yeez’ good people… step up for recognition today in the Written Acts of Kindness Awards, that man, Kirt D. Disdale,

Kirt 1

…whose own blog, https://thewallgalleryblog.wordpress.com is adorned with tons and tons of beautiful art prints… well worth a look and a regular peek… thanks for the innumerable times you’ve affirmed my own blog presence, Kirt… very much appreciated… cheers :):)

Kirt, the rules for passing this Award on are very simple:

  1. You are welcome to give it out as many times as you like, but it is only to be given to a maximum of one person per blog post. If you wish to give multiple rewards, please space the blog posts so the sincerity is maintained.
  2. Introduce the person; say how they encourage, help or inspire you; then link to their work and/or social media profiles. There may be a specific post you wish to link to which helped you. It’s up to you.
  3. Please publicise your award post to Twitter or Google Plus using the hashtag #writtenkindness so that others can find and follow the award winners.

This award is open to anyone to use. You don’t have to receive it, in order to be able to give it. Once you have received it, it isn’t obligatory that you must pass it on.

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

… Author ‘deadlines’ versus ‘smelling the roses on the way through the literary garden’…

…looking back over the years, I s’pose this ol’ Jurassic has some ‘previous’ in railing against ‘norms’… it’s not that I’ve set out to be any kinda rebel or maverick, but I do like to do things my own way, and at my own pace… in particular, I seem to recall well-intentioned folks telling me, ‘you’re not supposed/allowed/meant to do things THAT way!’… be that as it may, I haven’t started any WURLD wars, triggered any revolutions, or had Interpol hunt me down for crimes known or unknown (yet)… comes now this late career sortie into the life of an Author… the past eight years has provided so much pleasure in producing my wee Jack Calder crime thriller masterpieces, and all the attendant SOSYAL NETWURKS activity that has accompanied that… along the way, I’ve read many blogs and advice columns and so-called ‘experts’ postulating about the need for setting yerself writing deadlines…


…scribbling to order… so many WURDS per day… dictated by publisher or readership market demands… and I say BORROX! and DUBBLE-BORROX!! to all of them… I feel certain many fellow quill-scrapers will feel the same way as I do… when I’m in ‘creative writing’ mode, there are times I don’t want it to finish… the delight in producing passages that sparkle in yer own head is priceless… which brings me back to the tenet, ‘an author should write for herself/himself’… I’m often saddened when I see major names in the industry, with deserved praise for their early novels, fall into the trap of having to produce more of the same as quickly as possible for some imaginary production line for their stuff, and inferior-quality books result… currently, my fifth wee masterpiece, DEADLY IMPASSE, is coming along nicely… but it will be done when I’m done, ‘coz the plot and the narrative (as usual) is taking a life of its own… and I LUV that…


…for me it’s a no-brainer choice— Author ‘deadlines’ versus ‘smelling the roses on the way through the literary garden’… and I like the scent… would be interesting to learn if other Writers feel the same way?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…do yeez remember where yeez were when…? R.I.P. Jonah Lomu… an iconic sports legend, and man…


…there’s much in the manner of horrific episodes to engage our minds at present with the atrocities in France, Lebanon, Kenya and Nigeria… however, a different style of sadness pervades many minds on awakening today to the news of the passing of former New Zealand rugby legend, Jonah Lomu… we may be forgiven for looking back on the life of a gentleman and carry a smile into our heads as we recall all the positive things he gave us… there are p’raps a handful of sporting moments in yer life when yeez look back and remember as clear as crystal certain events that occurred which become indelibly carved in yer mem’ry… for some of us of a certain age, it may be the Geoff Hurst goal that clinched the WURLD cup for England in 1966  (and just for the record, and to keep things right, the first team after that to beat England was Scotland!)… for others it may have been the never-before-achieved perfect 10 for Olympic gymnast, Nadia Comenici at the Montreal event in 1976… goalkeeper Gordon Banks’ remarkable save from Pele’s header is also right up there… but for sheer open-mouthed, awe-triggering impact, NUTHIN comes remotely close to the moment in South Africa, during the 1995 Rugby WURLD Cup, when a 20-year-old giant of a boy stampeded his way into, through, and over, England player, Mike Catt to score an unforgettable try… and with that he changed the game of rugby forever, and prob’ly brought untold millions of new fans into the sport… he certainly did so for me… whether it had been ten Mike Catts or a squad of Hercules Tanks that day trying to stand in his way, it seems even those would not have prevented the utter phenomenon of that particular try… his illness later in life cut short all too soon a career that did reach the heights and we loved him for that and his continued role as a great ambassador for sport of any kind… R.I.P. Jonah Lomu, a colossus in every respect… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…gazillion kudos to the wunnerful Susan M.Toy…

…apart from the obvious pleasure of being mentioned in such glorious authorship company in the re-blogged post below, I applaud the sentiments of m’Ladies Violet Gaspe and Cheryl Schenk in recognition of the fabulously selfless work m’Lady, Susan M. Toy continues to do constantly on behalf of many of we scribblers… gazillion thanks, all three ladies, and everyone else who supports all of us through Susan’s wonderful Reading Recommendations blog… mwaah :) …here’s the post:

Violet Gaspe and Cheryl Schenk are two of the reasons Reading Recommendations still exists after two years of operation. It’s because of dedicated READERS like these women that I continue to promote and recommend books and their authors. They not only subscribe to the blog, but read the posts and find many of their next-great-reads on the site – and they pay attention when I recommend a book, even those by authors I’m not actually promoting on the site! Plus they talk about the books and authors they discover on RR with their friends and other readers. This site would not be what it is today without READERS like Violet and Cheryl who actually read and enjoy the books I promote there. Here they are to tell you what the site means to them …


From Violet Gaspe …
Congratulations Reading Recommendations Year Two!

This milestone is achieved through the dedicated effort of my old friend Sue. I have known Sue for over thirty years; back to the days when she held home parties to promote books and writers. Sue now has a much broader audience through social media. She has introduced me to so many writers. Who would I begin to name? Who will I forget to mention? So, I decided to name the last six fiction writers I have read or am presently reading.

Tim BakerSeumas Gallacher, Kent Haruf, Sue Monk Kidd, J.P. McLean and Diana Stevan (who was recommended by J.P. McLean). Some of the writers had me in tears (Haruf), some had me waking at dawn to continue the adventure (Stevan). I lost sleep trying to figure out what happens next (Baker, Gallacher, J.P. McLean). And there were books I didn’t want to end because I loved the story so much (Sue Monk Kidd). Writers unite, promote each other and continue letting readers such as myself discover your creativity.

Titles: The Gift: PenanceOurs Souls at NightA Cry From the DeepSecret Life of BeesEyewitness BluesThe Violin’s Man’s Legacy.

From Cheryl Shenck …
Congratulations Reading Recommendations on this, your 2nd Anniversary

Every writer needs a friend, someone that understands, promotes and enlightens. Someone that isn’t family and doesn’t necessarily LOVE everything we do, but will offer fair and creative criticism.

Susan Toy is that friend, and her creation of Reading Recommendations is invaluable to writers and readers alike. She is not only a kind-hearted soul, she is also a wealth of information and a continuously strong supporter of authors, both established and up and coming.

I was fortunate to meet Susan at a writers’ conference several years ago and from that time I have followed her on Facebook and Twitter, and I have since become addicted to her Reading Recommendations. Through her blogs I have been turned on to authors I feel privileged to have read and to books I am proud to promote as well.

I hope to follow these recommendations for a long time to come and maybe one day, if the Writing Gods are kind, will find myself featured as one of her authors.

The following are a few of my favourite writers (all of whom have been promoted through Reading Recommendations) and the books that got me started. If you haven’t read them, check them out. I think you’ll be pleasantly impressed with what you find.

Susan M Toy – Island in the Clouds (it had to be said)
Betty Jane Hegerat – The Boy
Kevin Brennan – Yesterday Road
Tim Baker – Living The Dream
Seumas Gallacher – Savage Payback
Chris Tucker – Lost Voyage
L G Pomerleau – Becoming Sand

Again, congratulations, Susan. I am happy to call you “friend”.

Cheryl Schenk can be contacted on Twitter @cherylschenk

Thank you to Violet and Cheryl! It’s READERS like you who are the reason we WRITE!

If you have discovered a new-to-you author through Reading Recommendations who then became a personal favourite, please share their name below in the comments section. I’d love to hear from READERS who have found this site to be helpful in recommending new reading selections. After all, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Spreading the word about Great Authors and their books!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff